How To Sterilize Earrings

by Ultimate Jewelry Guide
How To Sterilize Earrings

Do you remember when you got your ears pierced? The excitement and the pain are memories that can hardly be erased from your mind. You were probably informed how to clean your newly pierced ears after the piercing. Also that it is important to keep the skin around the holes tidy to prevent infections. While infections caused by earrings are rare, especially to ears that have healed, it is not altogether impossible. 

Therefore, cleaning and sterilizing earrings is critical. You should ensure that your earrings, especially the parts that go through the ear, are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized. To a great extent, it will lower the potential risk of accumulating old skin cells, dust, oils and bacteria. Failing to clean your earrings not only puts you at risk of infection, but they also lose their sparkle quickly. 

Due to the possible risk of infection, develop a habit of sterilizing your earrings weekly. Even though they may not look dirty, it does not mean that they cannot harbor bacteria that can cause you problems. There are some simple steps that you can follow to ensure that your piercings remain clean. Once you learn how to disinfect earrings, you can easily make it a routine. 

There are several methods that you can use to sterilize your earrings. Nonetheless, it is important to note that earrings are made of different materials. Thus, you can’t use a single approach to disinfect and clean earrings. Most of the earrings can be wiped using soapy water, but it is always important to consider the cleaning advice based on the material your earring is made of. 

Different Ways To Clean And Sterilize Your Earrings

Here are five easy methods that you can use to clean and sterilize your earrings.

How To Clean Earrings With Hot Water

You need to follow five steps when using this method to disinfect your earrings. 

Start by cleaning your hands

Cleaning your hands before you start the disinfection process prevents you from spreading more germs to earrings while cleaning them. Ensure that you thoroughly clean the spaces between your fingers and your wrists. 

Boil water

Using hot water to disinfect your earrings is a cheap and perfect option, especially if you do not have enough supplies and want your jewelry to sparkle. 

  • Start by boiling several cups of water 
  • Alternatively, you can use a microwave to heat the water in a mug for about a minute and a half.
  • Although cleaning your earrings with hot water may not make them as clean as when you would use a solution, it is an effective method when you do not have other cleaning supplies.

Immerse the earrings in boiled water for about twenty minutes

  • Remove the boiled water from the heat and immerse the earrings in it.
  • Wait for about twenty minutes so that the earrings can become clean
  • The hot water will not only clean the earrings but also kill the germs on the surface.
  • Hot water can be used on all earrings, but for costume-style plastic earrings, you should wait for the water to cool a bit before soaking them.  

Take your earrings out of water and scrub them

  • Use a spoon to remove the earrings if the water is still hot.
  • Use a soft toothbrush to scrub them gently to remove any remaining dirt on their surface.
  • Use warm water to rinse your earrings once you finish scrubbing them.

Put the earrings on a clean, dry towel to dry

  • Once you clean your earrings, put them on a towel and leave them for a few minutes to dry.
  • Pat them with a towel to remove any excess water droplets.
  • Once you ensure they are dry, you can place them in a clean place or wear them. 

How To Clean Earrings With Hydrogen Peroxide

Wash your hands

  • The first step when using hydrogen peroxide to sterilize your earring is to wash your hands with warm water and hand soap to avoid spreading germs.
  • Ensure that you scrub and wash between your fingers and above the wrists.
  • Use a clean towel to dry them.
  • Cleaning your hands ensures that you do not make your earrings dirtier before you begin cleaning them.

Saturate a piece of cloth with hydrogen peroxide

  • Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria and restores the gloss to your earrings.
  • When using it, saturate the cloth with hydrogen peroxide by tilting the bottle the cotton.
  • Mild cleaners or alcohol wipes are appropriate for cleansing earrings if your piercing is healed. No fresh tissues are exposed in a healed piercing that would irritate when gentle cleaning agents are used. 

Rub the cloth on the surface of the earrings to clean them

  • Ensure that you rub the hydrogen peroxide saturated cloth into all crevices or curves of the earrings. You should take several minutes on each earring and, if necessary, add more hydrogen peroxide.
  • After sterilizing the earring with hydrogen peroxide, you can rinse them in a ball of water.

Deep the earring in hydrogen peroxide if they require deeper cleaning

  • Some strands of cotton fiber can get caught by the earrings. If this happens, the earring will require deeper cleaning. You should soak them in a cup of hydrogen peroxide for about 5-10 minutes and then rinse them in water.

Give them some time to dry  

  • After you finish washing the earrings, place them on an uncontaminated towel and give them time to dry.
  • If you confirm that they are dry, wear them or store them in a clean, closed container. 

How To Clean Gemstone Earrings

  • Put a spoonful of dish soap in a bowl of warm water and immerse your earring for about 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Use a spoon to remove them and gently scrub them using a soft toothbrush.
  • Put them in the water and dish soap mixture for another minute or two, then wash them with clean water.
  • Place them on a clean towel to dry.

How to Clean Silver Earrings

  • Baking soda is an effective cleaning substance for silver earrings.
  • When cleaning silver earrings, you start by making sure you have a pan and line it with tin foil with the glossy side facing upwards.
  • Put your silver jewelries in the tin foil and pour warm water into the pan until the earring a fully covered by water.
  • Put baking soda into the water until your earrings start bubbling, and leave them immersed in the solution for about an hour.
  • Use clean water to rinse them and dry them using a soft cloth.

You need to note that silver earrings should be cleaned properly to maintain their gloss. When using this method, you can clean several pairs of silver earrings simultaneously. 

How To Clean Pearl Earrings

  • When using this method, you start by mixing warm water with a small amount of mild soap
  • Using a soft cloth dipped in the mixture, softly rub the pearl earrings.
  • Allow them to air dry and wear or store them in a safe place.

If you have pearl earrings, you should avoid using tough chemicals to clean them because they are more sensitive and can be damaged easily. After wearing your pearl earrings, you wipe them with a soft cloth to maintain their clean appearance. 

How To Use Alcohol To Clean Earrings

Cleaning earrings to maintain gloss is one thing while ensuring they are free from dead skin and germs. You require a solution that can help kill potential bacteria, especially on the back of your earrings. This is because these parts get into direct contact with your piercing. The following are steps when using alcohol to sterilize your earring’s backs.

  • Clean your hand with water to avoid spreading bacteria.
  • Wear gloves and test the solutions on a discreet part of the earring to check if there will be any corrosive reaction.
  • Using a cotton bud dipped in alcohol, gently rub the back of your earrings and all other parts that make direct contact with your ear.

How To Clean Earrings With Ammonia And Water

If your earrings contain diamonds and other costly gemstones, you need to handle them with great care. The following are steps you can follow to disinfect such earrings.

  • Mix a quarter cup of ammonia with a full cup of water to make a cleaning solution.
  • Immerse your earrings in the solutions and leave them for about twenty minutes.
  • Put some warm water in a bowl and mix it with a 5 ml liquid dish soap.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from the ammonia solution as you remove the earrings from the solution to the soapy mixture.
  • Rinse your earrings by churning them gently and removing them, and if they have any grime left over, you can use a jewelry brush to remove them.
  • Use clean water to rinse the earrings and place them on a clean towel or cloth to dry. 


Sterilizing your earrings is easy, and you can start doing it more frequently. This will help in protecting you from infections that are caused by dirty earrings and will also help in maintaining the luster of your earrings. You should clean and sterilize your earrings at least once every week. However, be aware of the most appropriate cleaning method because earrings with specific material will require a particular cleaning solution and approach. For instance, pearls can be damaged by hydrogen peroxide, very hot water or alcohol. When sterilizing them, rub their backs without touching the pearls.  

You may also like

Leave a Comment